May 2018 I like trains. The base website for these Potpourri pages is at it's core a railroad website, but I like so many other things too. To enjoy life to the fullest, I believe you have to explore the little things in depth too. That's why I created this Potpourri section. Well it so happens I enjoy Blues music, and Boogie Woogie music is one small sub cult of the Blues. Recently, a fellow railfan friend, Todd Sestero shared a website about the history of B-W. Seems there's a connection between B-W music and Steam Trains in the piney woods of Texas. Who knew? Anyway, It all brought back memories of Boogie Woogie in Music Appreciation Class in my pre-high school days. I had a great teacher that took a required class and made it so interesting that most of the music we explored is still enjoyable to me to this day. That included 50's Pop, Bach organ fugues, Barber Shop Quartet, Comic music, AND Boogi Woogie. That teacher weighed over three hundred pounds and when HE played B-W he made a piano just jump. When my friend sent me the link, all these memories came back and I decided to create this page. with a few pictures and a few links including some music from You Tube, I think the page may be interesting to motre than just me. Uniquely for me, My wife and I have visited the Texas - Pacific Station in Marshal Texas, the birthplace of Boogie Woogie.
The Definition of Boogie Woogie: from the above website. The New Harvard Dictionary of Music, 1986, defines "Boogie Woogie" as "a piano blues style featuring percussive ostinato accompaniments" that involve "steadily repeated bass patterns, one or two bars long" that "delineate the 12-bar blues progression, sometimes with IV in measure 2 or 10." This dictionary also states, "Melodies range from series of repeated figures reinforcing the explicit beat (including tremolos, riffs, rapid triplets) to polyrhythmic improvisations." In 1987, Smithsonian music historian Martin Williams wrote: "Boogie woogie is a percussive blues piano style --no one knows how old-- in which an ostinato bass figure, usually (but not always) played eight beats to the bar, is juxtaposed with a succession of right hand figures." Like all succinct attempts to define Boogie Woogie, these are, by necessity, limited in detail. Yet, they provide a starting place to approach Boogie Woogie, and from which to consider instances that defy these definitions.